Kurtis Bower is FUANs May 2020 Advocate of the Month.
Kurtis grew up in Sigourney, Iowa, until he was about nine years old. His parents divorced, and he moved with his mom to Cedar Rapids with his younger sister and younger brother. Kurtis graduated from high school at Thomas Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids. While in his junior year, he enlisted in the Army National Guard of Iowa on January 25, 2000. Kurtis attended Basic Combat Training for the United States Army at the Field Artillery Training Center at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
In August, he returned to school to complete his senior year of high school, graduating in May 2001. A few days later, Kurtis reported to Fort Gordon, Georgia, for his military occupational training as Network Switching Systems Operator/Maintainer. He says that is just a glorified name for someone who runs the communications network.
Kurtis started school at Kirkwood Community College in August 2002. At the “ripe old age” of 19 going on 20, he started taking American History and American Government classes. After excelling in his first semester, Kurtis enrolled in Psychology and International Affairs. Then he was surprised by something big.
He was activated to go to Kuwait for the upcoming engagement in Iraq. Kurtis deployed to Kuwait then crossed the border into Iraq in 2003. He was attached to B Company, 501st Signal Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He spent most of his deployment in Mosul, Iraq, returning home to Cedar Rapids on May 8, 2004.
Kurtis was still enrolled at Kirkwood and went back to school while taking on a more active role with the Iowa Army National Guard. He became a father in February 2005 at the age of 22. He continued to attend school full-time while also working full-time in EMS as an EMT. Kurtis then took on multiple active duty assignments with the National Guard through March 2014 when he was retired from the Iowa Army National Guard and the United States Army.
In July 2009, Kurtis' ex-wife filed for divorce. They had an experience very typical of many couples who divorce with children: contention and drama. While going through his divorce, his attorney convinced him to contact the attorney that ran the Paralegal Studies Program at Kirkwood when he discovered his research abilities. He believed Kurtis would be a great asset to an attorney or a law firm.
Fast forward to now, Kurtis has been homeless. He has had issues to overcome, but now he is standing on top of the mountain. His goals and interests are in law and politics. He volunteers for an attorney in central Iowa to help provide help at no cost to poor or disadvantaged persons in need of legal assistance so they can get help with his representation. He relied on his skills and work ethic to make a difference and provide legal research and legal writings to the attorney during his representation for the poor and disadvantaged.
Kurtis' interests in legislative reform are the following:
- Civil domestic abuse protective orders reform; He believes that the standard is too low because it weaponizes divorce cases unnecessarily.
- Access to legal representation and resources to low-income individuals.
- Veteran's Law issues.
- Bankruptcy discharges of student loans
Kurtis' enthusiasm and research abilities are a real asset to FUAN. We welcome him to our group and congratulate him on being named the FUAN May 2020 Advocate of Month.